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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

If you like frogs ..... (not to eat them of course)

Among the e-mails in my inbox this morning was this one ... I just feel like sharing it with you ...


Frog enthusiasts to converge on DC to raise awareness of worldwide frog extinction

Santa Cruz, CA, April 12, 2011 – Frog lovers and environmentalists of all ages are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Save The Frogs Day, set to take place Friday, April 29th. The annual celebration of amphibians is expected to be the largest day of amphibian education and conservation action in the planet’s history – and a Save The Frogs Day Rally in Washington DC will be the focal point of the worldwide events this year. The rally will take place at the steps of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and is intended to raise awareness of the rapid disappearance of frog species worldwide, and bring attention to the harmful effects of Atrazine, one of the most commonly used pesticides in America. The Save The Frogs Day Rally is being coordinated by SAVE THE FROGS! (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to amphibian conservation. Amphibian populations worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Up to 200 species have completely disappeared in recent years. Amphibians are faced with an onslaught of environmental problems, including climate change, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades. Many pesticides have come under scrutiny in recent years. Atrazine is currently being reviewed by the EPA after several scientific reports have emerged linking it to immunosuppression and hermaphroditism in frogs. A recent study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley showed that Atrazine acts as an endocrine disruptor and can cause complete sex reversal in male frogs at 2.5 parts per billion. Atrazine was banned in the European Union in 2004, but eighty million pounds of it are used in America each year. Half a million pounds of Atrazine come down in rainfall in the USA annually, much of it on the east coast, downwind from the Midwest where it is used heavily on corn. "Atrazine is the 21st century’s DDT" says Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!. Dr. Kriger will be leading the Save The Frogs Day Rally and will provide the keynote presentation later that afternoon at Lafayette Plaza across from the White House. Dr. Kriger hopes the rally will bring attention to the problems associated with Atrazine, and lead to a federal ban on its use and production. "Once Americans know about Atrazine, there will be overwhelming support for a ban. If people are uninformed and unconcerned, Syngenta’s lobbying power will be difficult to overcome", says Dr. Kriger. Atrazine is produced by Syngenta, the world’s largest pesticide company. Syngenta, based in Switzerland -- where the chemical is illegal -- reported over $11 billion in revenues in 2010. So what exactly will happen at the Save The Frogs Day Rally? "We plan to form the first ring of humans around the EPA in the nation’s history", says one volunteer who is helping coordinate the rally. At noon, Dr. Kriger will deliver over 10,000 signatures to the EPA, collected from the group’s petition to ban Atrazine. After the rally, participants will march up 14th Street and arrive at Lafayette Park, where there will be celebrations and Dr. Kriger will give the keynote presentation, on frogs and amphibian conservation. Save The Frogs Day events are being planned in at least 17 countries, including the Colombia, Nepal, South Africa, South Korea and Australia. Save The Frogs Day has been legally recognized by former Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine and the Mayors of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Santa Cruz, California. You can learn more about the Save The Frogs Day Rally and other Save The Frogs Day events at: What: Save The Frogs Day Rally Where: EPA Headquarters (1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC). Afterwards, rally attendees will March to Lafayette Plaza, across from the White House. When: Friday April 29th, 11am – 1pm rally, followed by a 2pm presentation in Lafayette Plaza Who: All ages are welcome. Cost: Free & open to the public. More info:

NOTE: The photo of Litoria chloris is courtesy of


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